The Fall of the Western Family

A friend of mine is a child psychologist.   While hanging out tonight, she mentioned that quite often parents come in with children showing behavior problems and they don’t know what to do because they give the child everything he wants.  She went on to mention that she would recommend spanking, but these days it’s just too easy for the children to call DCFS and bust the parents.  “Parents today have lost all their rights,” she concluded.

Keep reading – this is not going to be one of those “right to spank” editorials.

This is more than a debate over parenting styles – it is emblematic of a collapse of the West as a whole.  The genius of Western political systems – and America in particular – is decentralization of decision making.  Decisions are made by individuals and, at a government level, by the person closest to the problem.  Thus the idea of a federal government largely concerned with foreign affairs and intrastate trade, while the states were given authority over their borders.  Within the states, cities had large amounts of autonomy.

At an extremely micro level, families were given free rein to raise their children.  Public education existed to teach “reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmatic.”  Above and beyond that, families had wide discretion to raise their children as they wanted and to instill the values that the families held dear.  Did this mean that all children were brought up in a loving environment of idyllic harmony?  Of course not – Twain’s Huck Finn shows the horrors that some children experienced.  But, on the whole, civilization survived and brought us to the point of dominance that Western civilization enjoyed at the turn of the 20th century.

Then – following their founder Marx – the cultural elitists started to spread their doctrine.  Spanking – violent and brutal – made a perfect first target.  No end of studies came out claiming that it led to violence.  Somehow, Western civilization had survived 30 centuries of corporal punishment without succumbing to violent lives that were nasty, brutish, and short through sheer luck: but it had to be changed now.

But it didn’t stop there.  Parents may not teach their children about sex correctly, and that could lead to teen pregnancies.  So, the schools took that over with Sex Ed and carrying an egg around to teach them about babies.  (Presumably spanking is covered in modern sexual education courses, but in a very different form.)  From there, education quickly became indoctrination: the role of religion, social programs, the impact of the market, and global warming are all taught to children in an extremely one-sided way.

All of this has been better documented in other places, but it results in the job of teaching and rearing children being taken away from their parents and given to increasingly out-of-touch elites.  In this view of the world, incompetent parents play their strictly proscribed part.  If they were allowed to do too much parenting on their own, they might make mistakes.  The idiotic logical conclusion of this view is found in a recent study that suggests scolding should be removed from the parents playbook.

What’s the result of this brave new world?  A teen pregnancy epidemic.  London and Athens rocked by the have-nots rioting.  The Wisconsin State Fair descending into race riots.  And, of course, complete economic collapse due to the policies of the epitome of modern elitism: Barack Obama.  Wasn’t this exactly the outcome the elites told us would come if they didn’t have their way?

A century and a half ago Alexis de Toqueville warned that America had the potential for the most devastating tyranny of all time if people started to rely on the government instead of themselves and their neighbors.  The elites have spent a century making de Toqueville’s nightmare a reality.  The time is now or never to reverse the trend.